Running out of disc space - Next Step? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 17 Old 06-30-2013, 07:29 PM - Thread Starter
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All,

Not too long ago I built my first HTPC, consisting of the following:
  • Windows 8 Pro, WMC, Media Browser 3, MPC-HC w/MadVR
  • Intel G1610/Asrock B75M-GL (DVI -> HDMI -> Denon Receiver -> LG PK550)
  • Intel 60GB SSD
  • Seagate 2TB HDD
  • Silverstone ML03B
  • 4 GB G-Skill Ram
  • LG Blu-ray Drive

I am running out of space, so it is time to add some storage. I feel I have one of two options:
  • Add a 2nd 2 or 3 TB HDD to my current HTPC
  • Build a 2nd box


Primary purpose of the current HTPC is viewing of .mkv files. My fear with option 1 is one of the HDD's failing and losing a lot of material.


What would you do?
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post #2 of 17 Old 06-30-2013, 08:41 PM
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I would build a media server out of cheap parts or hardware you might not be using. You can run snapraid or flexraid on Windows and that will protect a drive or two.

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post #3 of 17 Old 06-30-2013, 11:06 PM
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It depends on the case you're using, but if you only have one drive in the system, just add more to it.
Edit - The Silverstone website says that case will accommodate three 3.5" HDDs (potentially 12TB) or five 2.5" HDDs (potentially 10TB)

My issue now is that I've run out of space to add more internal drives, and I still need to add more storage.

If you are concerned about backups, either buy some external drives, or simply buy two of whatever drive you want to add to the system. Most motherboards these days have 6-8 SATA ports on them.
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post #4 of 17 Old 07-01-2013, 05:12 PM
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Actually you have a third option. You could compress your files using Handbrake. I started doing that. Some movies I wouldn't but others it doesn't matter much. In particular animated stuff. Compress away, you'll be glad you did.
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post #5 of 17 Old 07-01-2013, 08:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slosvt View Post

All,

Not too long ago I built my first HTPC, consisting of the following:

...


Primary purpose of the current HTPC is viewing of .mkv files. My fear with option 1 is one of the HDD's failing and losing a lot of material.


What would you do?
Rip them from the source again? Or are these 'backups' of rental disks? wink.gif
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post #6 of 17 Old 07-02-2013, 02:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by olyteddy View Post

Rip them from the source again? Or are these 'backups' of rental disks? wink.gif
When you have a large library, this can be a real problem. I now keep multiple backups of all my audio discs, as ripping and tagging them correctly is a very slow process, and I have copies of discs that have since been damaged. (lent out and returned with scratches, ruined in laptop or car CD players etc.)
It's getting to the point where my DVD rips are in a similar position now, and I'm thinking of purchasing another handful of external hard drives to keep an offline backup of them as well, because the cost for that is less than the time it will take to rip everything again. DVDs are usually 3-5GB and even assuming 5GB that's potentially 800 titles on a single 4TB disk.
The only thing I don't plan on keeping backups of right now is Blu-ray discs, because they are relatively large files (fewer titles on a single disk) and so far I haven't run into the problem of any of them getting damaged. Because the format is newer, I also have far less of them to rip again if a drive were to fail.
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post #7 of 17 Old 07-02-2013, 06:26 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slosvt View Post

All,

Not too long ago I built my first HTPC, consisting of the following:
  • Windows 8 Pro, WMC, Media Browser 3, MPC-HC w/MadVR
  • Intel G1610/Asrock B75M-GL (DVI -> HDMI -> Denon Receiver -> LG PK550)
  • Intel 60GB SSD
  • Seagate 2TB HDD
  • Silverstone ML03B
  • 4 GB G-Skill Ram
  • LG Blu-ray Drive

I am running out of space, so it is time to add some storage. I feel I have one of two options:
  • Add a 2nd 2 or 3 TB HDD to my current HTPC
  • Build a 2nd box


Primary purpose of the current HTPC is viewing of .mkv files. My fear with option 1 is one of the HDD's failing and losing a lot of material.


What would you do?

I would, and did, add more drives to my HTPC. I run disparity as my RAID4 "protection". Basically, you need to buy two more discs, both the same size (and at least as large as your current disc), one for the extra storage space and one for the parity drive. Install disparity, add the data and parity drives in the easy to use GUI, and run update. It is not a backup, but if one of your drives fails it allows you to restore it when you replace it - AND it allows you to restore to a different location altogether.

My HTPC has the OS drive - C:\ (an SSD), the BluRay/HD-DVD Combo Drive - D:\, the Recorded TV and various saved files such as drives - E:\, an external Backup Drive - F:\ (for my acronis backups of all my PCs), the Parity drive - M:\, and then the Data drives - N:\ O:\ P:\ Q:\ and R:\. All but two of the Data drives are 4TB drives - but I am making ISOs of all my BluRays - including series such as Stargate Atlantis.

I would buy two 4 TB drives so you do not have to worry about it again for a LONG time, especially since you are using MKVs. Or, maybe a better solution, is to buy two 3TB drives and a 60GB or 120GB SSH, move all your movies to the two new HDDs, and clone your current drive to the SSD (since it should fit with all your movies removed). You can then format the no longer used OS HDD and move any movies off of one of the two new HDDs onto it. Then setup disparity to use that empty 3TB drive as your parity drive to protect the other two drives. It is always a good idea to have your OS drive physically separate from your Data drives. You can use Windows Backup to save your OS drive onto one of your HDDs to make it easy to recover in case it dies.
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post #8 of 17 Old 07-02-2013, 06:45 AM
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I bought a Mediasonic Probox 4 bay esata enclosure. it was $80some with a rebate or promo code when I picked it up. Maybe it was because they were clearing out ones that included USB 2.0 in favor of 3.0

I had a few fears doing this including read/write time among the four drives inside but I think it works pretty well. Worked fine with USB 2.0 too before I switched over. The box is small and hides on a shelf well. Would also be pretty easy to swap drives in the future.

My HTPC front end set up
Integration for whole home ATSC, CableCARD, FM radio, Blu-Ray, HD-DVD, DVD, VHS control & capture, video games, and archived & streaming media playback
Mironto's Panasonic plasma black level restoration guide
Restore the initial MLL on a 2009 Panasonic plasma
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post #9 of 17 Old 07-02-2013, 08:41 AM
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Don't some older eSATA ports on MoBo's only support one drive?

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post #10 of 17 Old 07-02-2013, 09:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post

Don't some older eSATA ports on MoBo's only support one drive?

Some newer motherboards only support a single drive on the eSATA port(s). The storage controller has to support port replication/multiplication on the eSATA ports(s) to properly support multi-bay eSATA enclosures. It should be mentioned in the motherboard user guide.

Running Windows Home Server 2011 Evil Abandoned Edition
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post #11 of 17 Old 07-02-2013, 10:52 AM
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Instead of adding a 2 or 3 tb HD, why not replace the 2tb with a 4tb. You can always use the 2tb in another pc, or in a USB or eSATA dock for backup or whatever.
Sounds like it took a while to fill up the 2tb. You'll double your storage instantly.

Only when that's filled up would I then add a second 4tb. I don't see the point in filling up your case with more 2tb drives.
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post #12 of 17 Old 07-02-2013, 11:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post

Don't some older eSATA ports on MoBo's only support one drive?

my brand new one only supported one, which surprised me. i got a cheap esata card and its all working great. i dont really know if theres a difference between esata and usb 2.0. i know in theory there is, but for my real world use i just dont think it matters much.

the newer mediasonic probox has usb 3.0, and i know thats advertised as faster than esata.

My HTPC front end set up
Integration for whole home ATSC, CableCARD, FM radio, Blu-Ray, HD-DVD, DVD, VHS control & capture, video games, and archived & streaming media playback
Mironto's Panasonic plasma black level restoration guide
Restore the initial MLL on a 2009 Panasonic plasma
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post #13 of 17 Old 07-02-2013, 11:55 AM
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Data throughput is faster but it still is limited by drive speed.

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post #14 of 17 Old 07-02-2013, 03:09 PM
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Sans Digital or Mediasonic 8 bay external USB 3.0 or eSATA enclosure and call it a day. Personally, I have three of these and they work great. Run flexraid for parity protection.
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post #15 of 17 Old 07-02-2013, 04:53 PM
 
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I bought one of these as my case, a Norco RPC-450TH:




http://www.norcotek.com/item_detail.php?categoryid=1&modelno=RPC-450TH

I replaced the two built in fans with much quieter ones (very easy to do) and it holds all my drives while cooling them. smile.gif

You just plug in slightly more than the number of SATA cables you need and provide power to the bays and never have to play around with the mobo again. HDDs stay cool and are easily removed as needed.
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post #16 of 17 Old 07-02-2013, 06:46 PM - Thread Starter
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Would anyone change their reply if I use my current box to feed a few xbox 360 extenders?
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post #17 of 17 Old 07-02-2013, 07:18 PM
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I never replied to your original post but I will now:

In short, no, it doesn't really change your current situation if you add X360 extenders. You still haven't solved the storage problem on your HTPC, and you still haven't solved your data redundancy situation.

I'd build a dedicated storage box if I were you. I did and have been very happy since. Now I only have a 128GB system drive in my main HTPC and that's it!
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